College: a penny-pinching corporation

Vanshika Sindhu, Feature Editor

The thrill of getting an acceptance letter from your dream school is like no other. The years of intense studying, no sleep, and tears have finally paid off. Nothing can stop you now! Nothing—except tuition. Through these grueling years of high school, many of us have learned that it’s not all about being the best student—it’s also about how much money you have. 

College in America is unreasonably expensive with sky-high tuition prices, and in this capitalist country, it only seems right that colleges seek to rip off their students in one way or another. Take the University of Chicago for example, which has an average tuition of $60,552, not including room and board or the cost of textbooks. Compare that with the average yearly income for an American family: $67,521. This makes it difficult for many people to afford college, even with scholarships. 

With that much money you would think that it was going to the betterment of your education, but this is simply not true. Most colleges deposit tons of money in their endowments (a non-profit’s investable assets), claiming to store them for use in charitable activities. Some of these so-called “charitable activities” include Harvard University buying $100 million in vineyards and a private steakhouse at High Point University.

Additionally, colleges have begun to decrease their budget for professors as well, by hiring more adjunct professors and fewer tenured professors. Adjunct professors (temporary professors who work on contract) are paid much less than tenured professors (full-time) and receive little to no benefits. The average pay for an adjunct professor in 2020 was $25,000, while a tenured professor earned six figures. Not only that, but the salary for campus officials such as deans and presidents has increased, along with the amount of money being spent on managing endowments. 

Colleges are spending minimal money on education and they aren’t using the money from their endowments for tuition aid. The Harvard University website even explicitly states that no money from their endowment is used for financial aid. The tuition money that you so painstakingly pooled together isn’t even being used for the betterment of your education, but to fill the bottomless pockets of greedy college officials. 

College is no longer a place for learning—it has become a corporation that uses students’ money for its own benefit. The hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans that many people spend entire lifetimes paying off weren’t even contributing to their education, but rather greedy executives who steal money in the name of education. 

What makes this worse is taking into account the average salary for a college graduate—around $55,260. This number is extremely low considering that is how much many people spend on a year of college. In short, it is clear that the American college system needs a big reform. We need to remember what college is really about—education.